Masao Okabe is the artist who represents Japan at the 52nd Venice Biennale with his work “Is There a Future for Our Past? The Dark Face of the Light”. Masao Okabe (born 1942 in Hokkaido, Japan) displays 1,400 frottages from the port of Ujina in Hiroshima, as well as a 16 meters long row of frottages from the platform of the Ujina railway station with traces of the atomic bomb explosion. As Chihiro Minato, the commissioner for Japan describes the work: “…Okabe has recorded the past by using the elemental tools of pencil and paper. With this lifework of Okabe as the centerpiece, the exhibition will attempt to consider, from the perspective of art, the possibilities and conditions for the human past being inherited into the future.” (from the PR, Japan Foundation). Okabe began frottage in 1977. He has exhibited at the third Gwangju Biennale (2000) and the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial (2000) and has held frottage work shops under the Synchronicity Project (2004) and the Masao Okabe+City 2005 Project (2005) in Japan. Venice, Italy, June 8, 2007.
PS: Review at Artscape.Net.
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